While she demonstrates that welfare policy can be negatively affected by a powerful lobby that advocates a position not supported by public opinion, her example of the success of Kentucky unionists, blacks, and liberals in blocking tighter restrictions for Aid to Dependent Children
in the state in the 1940s demonstrates that left-wing activism can also be effective.
For example, it is not clear how beneficiaries of Aid to Dependent Children
themselves came to think of the programs that recognized their rights, and how their conceptions clashed with those of "most people," who "venerated work.
The New Deal's social insurance programs, especially Aid to Dependent Children
, and post-war prosperity, had lessened the need for institutional care for dependent children that the orphanages had always provided.
Moreover, African-Americans came to account for a growing proportion of the postwar welfare caseload and by 1957 42% of Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) recipients were African-American (Bureau of Public Assistance, 1960).
In an 1950 article entitled, "Illegitimacy and Aid to Dependent Children," the author argued, "Cultural attitudes are partially responsible for a higher illegitimacy rate among Negroes.
Aid to dependent children
(ADC), a locally run program, has, by way of contrast, followed a much more complex course.
The rise in Aid to Dependent Children
(ADC) amidst prosperity, scandalous stories of "chiseling" and other data outraged middle-class Americans.
Instead, the standing interpretation for both mothers' pensions and Aid to Dependent Children explains these programs as policies that supported women to stay at home.
The second period examines the Social Security Act and the development of two provisions for mother-only families: Aid to Dependent Children (1935) and Survivors' Benefits (1939).
This transformation drives this gendered history of the state's response to the needs of single mothers, a history that culminates in the Aid to Dependent Children
(ADC) provisions in the Social Security Act of 1935.